Pursuing Good: Exposing Vulnerability

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The world looks completely different.

Sometimes it lasts for a day or even a week.

After reading a really good book it can take time to recover, to reorient oneself to the world outside of the world of the story. The same is true of a concert that elevates us to a new level of heightened experience and emotion.

All of us have had experiences with art that enable us to transcend reality, if even for a few short moments. Whether a theatrical production, film, music, a painting, a book, or design; art resonates with us in a deeply satisfying way. It also connects us to those with a shared experience.

We cannot always put our finger on what it is that is creating this reaction when we feel it, sense it, and experience it. For those of us who do this for a living — crafting experiences and art to move people into closer relationship with and obedience to Jesus — we cannot afford to not know. We cannot afford to guess.

Keep thinking! Continue reading.

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Pursuing Good: The Backstory

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When is something good? How do we know we are doing good work?
Is there an objective standard that church technical artists can use to make sure the effort that we are putting in is paying off?
How do we know if our transitions are good? Or the infrastructure we are adding to the word and worship is good?
Ultimately, it’s really about the service itself, as an entity, how do we know it is good?

Keep thinking! Continue reading.

A martian, a critic, and Jesus

Marvin The Martian

No one likes to be criticized. Especially for their art.
So how do we respond to critics?
What can we learn from Jesus and how He responded to His critics?

As you read through the New Testament you can see this coming from a mile away. Eventually, Jesus and the Jewish leaders are going to have it out. Often, they confront Jesus with a critical question hoping to trap Him.

Jesus’ response to their subterfuge is instructive. He answers them. Wow. Before you think about how he responded, just consider that simple fact. Today, our politicians have made not answering critics an art form. They actually take classes and study film to perfect their non-answers. I think this plague is infecting leaders all across our society.

The creator of the universe who doesn’t have to answer to anyone for anything, answers these snivelingly, wimpy, contentious, backbiting (hold on… I’ll tell you how I really feel in a moment), self-seeking, scheming, pompous, sententious hypocrites.

I’m not usually gracious to my critics. My initial response is too often anger. I think things like, “Who do they think they are, I’ve forgotten more than they’ll ever know!” Or the always lovely, “I don’t have to answer to you!”
Oops.
We dismiss others when we believe they are insignificant.

Jesus wasn’t passive, but He was magnanimous towards critics.

What if we applied that principle in our roles as spouse, parent, friend, leader and coworker?

Church Technical Leaders: Leading Up

As part of an ongoing discussion on the  Church Tech Leaders website about Leading Up, I recently had the privilege of adding my two cents via video.

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As a Manager Tools’s fan, I do not believe that a person should try to manage their boss. However, as technical artists in the church, we have knowledge and skills that the rest of the staff can benefit from. We were hired for our expertise. In that sense, we are the leaders in the church staff when it comes to our field.

Often, we are called on to communicate up the chain. As leaders at our church in technical arts, the skill set needed for this type of communication is different. That just makes sense. You are the leader in knowledge or expertise, but not the leader in the organization. It can be a tricky place to navigate.

Greg Baker, technical director at Saddleback Church, started the conversation with this excellent article.

To watch the videos of Van and me click here.